There’s a scene in Bret Easton Ellis’s American Psycho when Patrick Bateman calls and tries to get a reservation at Dorsia, a prestigious, haute-elite restaurant in New York. There’s a pause… and then the maître d begins to laugh. He laughs and laughs. The only way Bateman can deal with the scorn and ridicule of being denied access to the exclusive restaurant is to moonlight as a serial killer. That’s life in the soulless, status-seeking world of 1980's New York.
Dorsia didn’t really exist. It’s a mythological restaurant, a metaphor in a novel that name drops more restaurants –The Harvard Club, Flutie’s, Arcadia, Espace, Hubert’s -than you’ll find in a NYC travel guide. In other words, it doesn’t matter how rich, famous, powerful, and well connected you are… there are places that even the most slavishly fashionable tribe can’t get into. It doesn’t matter how well tailored your suit is, or how good the watermark is on your business card.
Celebrity sighting is different today than in the world of American Psycho, but getting the coveted res at a buzzed-about restaurant like Dorsia still feels like acceptance into a secret society. Fashionable restaurants come and go like food trends. Spago is yesterday’s quinoa. Michael’s is the kimchi of yesteryear… or is it kale? Seaweed? Matcha? Trying to keep up with where the rich and famous dine is like trying to find Waldo; there are just too many hyped and trendy restaurants in an all-you-can-eat-buffet of hyped and trendy cities. Still, even celebs and A-listers have their go-to joints.
10 The Roger Room
9 Mamo Le Michelangelo/Mamo
8 The Chateau Marmont
7 Cheeseburger Baby
Cheeseburger Baby is the oldest cheeseburger joint on South Beach, and the late-night favorite has long been popular with celebrities, proving that a good greasy-spoon can go toe-to-toe with any white-linen restaurant. Hip-hop royalty Jay-Z and Beyonce go to Cheeseburger Baby every time they’re in town; Jay-Z even gave the joint a shout out on 96.5, calling it his “favorite place in Miami."
6 Minetta Tavern
5 The Forge Restaurant/Wine Bar
4 ABC Kitchen
3 C London
2 The Spotted Pig
1 Fig & Olive
Who eats at Fig & Olive, Chef Pascal Lorange’s valentine to Mediterranean cuisine on the corner of Melrose and La Cienega? The question is... who doesn’t? The 8,000 square foot open-concept restaurant is like a red carpet packed with foodies and celebrities; Amanda Seyfried, Robert Downey Jr., Halle Berry, Johnny Depp, Jennifer Aniston, Elizabeth Banks, Ryan Gosling, Sir Paul McCartney, and Bruce Springsteen have all been seen at Fig & Olive. And it’s easy to understand why. Fig & Olive's Mediterranean atmosphere -cool white walls, lofty ceiling, and a tree in the center of the dining area- makes it easy to forget you’re actually dining in LA. The restaurant even has its own signature brand of olive oils. Bellissimo.
Sources: ny.eater.com, NYDailyNews.com, NYTimes.com
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